Milnerton maestro Joey Ramsden has always been regarded as one of our top trainers of stayers, and while more than fifty shades greyer than he was when winning his first Gold Cup – then a Gr1 – in 2004 with Major Bluff, he returned to clinch a prize that he describes as ‘one of the most difficult on the calendar’ at Hollywoodbets Greyville on Saturday.
Considering the British-born conditioner’s time proven skills with stamina horses, one would be inclined to think that 2004 to 2019 is an unlikely long time between Gold Cup drinks.
But the charismatic and fearless campaigner wasn’t arguing the history of it as he graciously accepted the beautiful trophy for Dynasty’s Blossom – the first member of the fairer sex to win the Gold Cup since Dean Kannemeyer’s Colonial Girl in 2000 – in the company of part-owner Maine Chance Farms’ representative Glen Hatt.
There was plenty of sentimentality attached to the moment as it was Hatt who was aboard when the lightly weighted Major Bluff squeaked in ahead of Double Reef fifteen years ago – the latter coincidentally partnered by present-day GTV presenter Kevin Shea, who was behind the stalls at the start in collar and tie on Saturday.
The race panned out perfectly for the Joey Ramsden Racing Team as Keagan de Melo kept the pack honest aboard the gallant Dark Moon Rising, who took the initiative and had five lengths on his field at the 400m.
But after Doublemint flickered briefly, it was Dynasty’s Blossom (20-1) who weaved her way through the stampede from off the pace to hold off the attentions of Made To Conquer (15-1) by 0,80 lengths in a time of 205,83 secs.
It’s My Turn won the race in 205,20 secs in 2018.
The Ridgemont Highlands deceased stallion Dynasty sired the exacta.
Stablemate to the runner-up, the SP top-rated Doublemint loomed up menacingly late, but was outrun in the finish to finish a not disgraced third, a further 0,40 lengths back.
Mauritian jockey Nooresh Juglall, who quit Singapore racing suddenly in April this year for family reasons, rode a perfectly judged race and said that he had been briefed by multiple Gold Cup winning rider, Glen Hatt.
Consigned by Highlands Farm, Dynasty’s Blossom was knocked down to the Mayfair Speculators/Coolmore/Maine Chance Farms partnership for R4,5 million at the 2016 Cape Premier Yearling Sale – where she topped the charts on Day 2.
She is out of the Danehill Dancer sired Gr3 Final Fling Stakes winner Crimson Blossom, who won seven races from 1200m to 2000m. Her fourth dam, Delsy, produced Gr1 Prix du Jockey Club winner and leading sire Darshaan.
A courageous runner-up behind the Gold Cup absentee Walter Smoothie in the Gr3 Gold Vase on July day at the same track, this was Dynasty’s Blossom’s first stakes success and the big victory has enhanced the well-bred mare’s paddock prospects.
She has now won 3 races with 11 places from 21 starts for stakes of R1 193 350.
Ramsden enjoyed one previous feature success in the 2019 SA Champions Season – courtesy of the hardknocking Twist Of Fate in the KRA Guineas back in May.
Gr3 eLan Gold Cup (SAf-Gr3)
Greyville, South Africa, July 27, R1.25 million, 3200m, turf, good, 3.25.83
1 – DYNASTY’S BLOSSOM (SAF), 55.0, b f 4, Dynasty (SAF) – Crimson Blossom (IRE) by Danehill Dancer (IRE). Owner Mrs John Magnier, Jagessar Limited (Nom: Mr Alan Cooper) & Maine Chance Farms (Pty) Ltd (Nom: Dr W A & Mrs N Jacobs); Breeder Highlands & G Jaffee; trainer J Ramsden; jockey N Juglall
2 – Made To Conquer (SAF), 59.5, b g 5, Dynasty (SAF) – Festive Occasion (SAF) by Casey Tibbs (IRE)
3 – Doublemint (SAF), 58.5, ch c 4, Twice Over (GB) – Nepeta (NZ) by Tale Of The Cat (USA)
Margins: 0.80, 0.40, 0.60